At night Hamazasb leaves the carousel and with his friends he leaps to the skies and flies free among the clouds. He is not the fastest, he is not the strongest, but he is the most courageous! His shoes are shod in gold, his armour is lapis lazuli, studded with garnets amethysts, topaz and tourmalines. His mane is dyed with woad and plaited with fibres of gold, his saddle is burnished copper.
Did he once lose a shoe? Did a gold nail catch against the canopy of the carousel as he flew into the night, did the shoe work loose and fall to earth, for some innocent child to pick up as a pretty thing? Who knows!
One dawn, as the first light of the not yet risen sun streaked the sky with the palest blue and apricot, the horses returned… except for Hamazasb…
as he flew into the night a gold nail from his golden shoe caught against the canopy of the carousel. Anxious to fly into the clouds and near the stars he did not notice the shoe becoming loose, and when, glancing down he saw something falling in a shower of golden sparks, he thought it was a shooting star… it was his golden shoe, and without it he could not find his way back to the carousel.
This is Pangolin; his name means scaly ant-eater. He was teased about his beautiful enamel plaques on his criniere and croupiere and on his flanchard, and called pangolin, ant-eater… but he thought it a pretty name, and as a horse with the best sense of humour on the carousel, he adopted it, and bears it with pride.
This is Kakhaberi, his name is mysterious and comes from the east. He is the strongest of the horses, and the quietest; he is brave and fearless and loves his companions.
When Hamazasb did not return as the sun painted the land with light, Kakhaberi was anxious and uneasy; sometimes it had happened before that one of the horses had strayed too far, but this time, Kakhaberi felt something was wrong. Hamazasb was not foolish, or over-excitable, he would have returned, if he could, something was wrong…
The sun came up, heaved itself above the horizon and sent its rivers of light across the land, catching the tiled rooftops and golden cockerels standing as proud weather-vanes on the church spires, spread floods of gold across the marshes and pastures and over the hills and snow-capped mountains. The horses on the carousel waited, waited for Hamazasb to return, and gradually they began to share Kakhaberi’s fears that something bad had happened.
It sometimes happened that one of their number disappeared for a while but would return with smart new paint, or mended saddle, or even a fine collar like Bialias did.
The horses were uneasy, there was a space now between them, a gap in their ranks, empty except for a miasma of worry, worry for where Hamazasb was, and what had happened to him. The music started, the children came, but so too did black clouds, and soon the light had gone from the sky and the day was gloomy and dull.
Hamazasb was lost, he had flown further than the others thinking they were behind him, but turning and looking down he could see nothing to guide his way back. He circled round, calling for his friends, but the wind took his voice and tossed it among the clouds. There was the faintest gleam of gold in the east, night was fleeing and Hamazasb must find somewhere to rest. There was a sudden flare of light below and a below of men’s laughter, then the darkness returned; but in that brief flash Hamazasb had glimpsed the colours of the fairground. This was not where his carousel was, but maybe there were friends here, other horses, and he descended. There were strange shapes and figures, figures of horses and he delicately slipped between them as the sun tipped over the horizon.
Where was he? Not a carousel but a carnival wagon, and he was among figures of warriors and foreign and frightening horses, bigger and more fearsome looking even than might Darkus, the biggest horse on the carousel. Hamazasb, stilled his fears and arched his neck, and waited among the strangers.
This is a story by fellow writer Lois Elsden.
You should check out her blog; its full of all sorts of writing!
She also belongs to the group the Somerset Writers, who post a variety of stories by different writers. They are also on the hunt for other writers to feature on their blog. So why not go have a nosy or contact them?